Ludacris Delivers Again on New Album ‘Ludaversal’
Since his 2000 major label debut, Back For The First Time, Ludacris has consistently proven that he could flow alongside great MCs like T.I., Nas and Jay Z. With a motion flick, Furious 7, breaking records at the box office, the newly wed MC is back to prove that he can wax poetically with hip-hop’s new breed on his new studio album, Ludaversal.
Ever since 2003's Chicken-N-Beer album, Luda has kicked off his projects with his well-known fast and furious introductions laid over menacing production. Ludaversal upholds that tradition. The album opens with a thundering and abrasive “Luda Intro." Produced by frequent collaborator David Banner the DTP capo goes off on a lyrical tantrum reminding listeners of why he’s eight albums in and a three-time Grammy winner.
Never one-dimensional, Chris Bridges balances personal, comical, lyrical, inspirational and socially conscious raps on every one of his projects, which validates his claims of being one of best MCs. Ludaversal is no different. On “Greener On The Other Side,” produced by Da Internz, the ATL rep cleverly yet seriously holds a mirror for one to see the dissatisfactions clouding their life. The momentum continues on “Call Ya Bluff,” where Luda uses his slow yet aggressive flow—reminiscent of “Blow It Out” and “Rollout (My Business)”—to chin-check hip-hop contemporaries and haters, while “Beast Mode,” with its neck-snapping backdrop, follows the same lyrical onslaught. But with lines like, “Some of my artists switched labels but I still get a check”—a direct reference to former Disturbing Tha Peace artist 2 Chainz—“Beast Mode” is the by far the most entertaining of Luda’s battle rap entrees on Ludaversal.
Keeping the Dirty South’s distinctive culture alive and thriving, Luda pays homage to Southerners’ fascination with candy-painted Chevys, Cadillacs, Oldsmobiles and Cutlasses. Riding shotgun is Mississippi native Big K.R.I.T. for the Mike WiLL Made It-produced “Come And See Me.” The track gives listeners a front seat ride through the Southside of Atlanta and the muddy back roads of Meridian, Mississippi in a tricked out old school whip sitting high on nosebleed rims and earsplitting subwoofers. “Come And See Me” is the perfect track to play on a Saturday when while cruising through the city with nowhere to go.
Behind the ego and materialism that Luda keeps up his sleeves, he manages to unleash a gripping track, “Oceans Skies,” with crooner Monica about his deceased father’s alcohol and domestic abuse (His dad died of complications from diabetes back in 2007 before Ludacris won a Grammy for Best Rap Album). Fittingly, Ludaversal ends with the reflective “Charge It To The Game” that aims at media publications and the shady music industry and “This Is My World,” solidifying his claims that he really is one the game’s best MCs.
While Ludacris’ name may miss several Best Rapper Alive lists, he never fails to deliver on each album. If Ludaversal is a reminder that he hasn’t fallen off lyrically, the game should pay attention. —Darryl Robertson